Thursday, 29 November 2007

Cows, butter and learning new things

I am hoping to adopt the vocabulary of the enthusiast. You know the kind of thing; you overhear a group of folks yacking on happily about their shared pet subject and it has all the meaning of gobbledegook until you have been initiated into the intricacies of the language.
In the past fortnight I have had a day admiring Dexters - I hope the photo gives you an idea of their diminutive scale but if you are not familiar with round bale hay feeders, perhaps not - and a day learning the basics of cheese, yoghourt and butter making. I am slowly starting to develop a new vocabulary.
In my fridge is a selection of hand-made dairy delights: Mascarpone, Greek-style yoghourt and my pride and joy, two types of butter. One is sweet butter, made from unpasteurised cream with absolutely nothing added. The other is a slightly salted butter made from cultured cream. I don't believe this means it has a passing acquaintance with Jonathan Miller, rather that it has had bacteria added to give it a particularly lactic taste.
Making the butter was incredibly straightforward and it is one of those things (like using a potter's wheel or seeing otters in the wild) that I have always yearned to do. Considering how expensive a cream separator is, I will now be on the lookout for one at farm sales and in the small ads. In the meantime, if there's reduced double cream for sale, I'll be first in line. And then there's just that small issue of having cows....

7 comments:

Swearing Mother said...

How fab it all sounds, but your post has raised my cholesterol just reading it. Yum.

Read something in a magaazine today about Dexters, so pleased to see your photo.

You sound as if you're really enjoying yourself.

Totty Teabag said...

I'm pleased that your first attempts at making butter went well. My memory of my Mother's first attempt back in the '50s are a little more painful. She came back from a farm sale with a large barrel churn, and a few days later had enough CI cream in the dairy to try it out. I came in from school to find a couple of pounds of neatly squared off butter displayed on the kitchen table, but forgot to shut the door on my way out...a cattle dog called Trotter got his belly full, and I got my backside tanned!

paula said...

Ahh, they look cute...though they can be quite evil, like many small things. But I did make good cheese from my Dexters.
Sounds as if you've had a very busy and interesting week.

mountainear said...

I wish had something a bit more technical and interesting to say than 'what sweet little cattle'. Do get some - you know you want to..........

Winchester whisperer said...

It all sounds bucolically idyllic. Home-made marscapone! You'll have to make some ice cream with that as well.

Mopsa said...

SM - I am having fun; learning new things that are of some genuine practical use and that tickles my interest is truly my bag.

TT - oops!

Paula - I like a big dog and have little time for the small 'uns and I wonder if that'll be true of cows too. It's a genuine toss up between the Devon Ruby and the Dexter.

M'ear - it's just a question of timing and knowing when you have too much on your plate. Once the builders have bedded in (they are here for more than a year) I will know if I feel the need to wait til they are done, or can manage them both.

WW - It doesn't feel idyllic, just practical, fun and my kind of creative. And lots of hard work too of course.

Flowerpot said...

well done Mopsa - you put the rest of us to shame. I love the Dexters...